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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Battlefront's Light Sensha Platoon (JBX03)

by Tom Burgess

The Type 95 "Ha-Go" in the field.

I’ve been a collector of Japanese WW2 weapons for many years and was excited to have the opportunity to review Battlefront’s new Light Sensha Platoon (JBX03) boxed set. Battlefront provided a set to WWPD to review so I was more than willing to volunteer to take a crack at painting some of these up as my introduction to Battlefront’s new Japanese miniature line.

This set includes a set of five Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks to fill out this platoon. Though these are listed as an “Early War” boxed set the Japanese used this tank throughout the war. Though the Type 95 armor and gun were nearly outdated by the Early War period, the tank was quite advanced when it entered service in 1935.

The Type 95 "Ha-Go's" stats in Flames of War

Accuracy: The model looks spot with any image of Type 95’s I could find. The only problem I found was that the closed hatches are not centered when you glue them to the turret roof due to the placement of the keyhole tab. The hatches, as far as I can tell, are suppose to open straight forward and straight back, but because of how the tabs under the hatch are set, they sit at a cant. You’ll have to file the tab off and center the hatches properly.

Rating: 9/10

Quality: The detail is crisp and there were no broken/missing pieces. All pieces fit well and required only minor flash removal. BUT, the boxed set does not come with magnets for the turrets which are a must have. The turrets are really tiny (French “one-man-turrets” have nothing on these!) and with the pewter hatch, guns, and commander they are quite top heavy and you will need the magnets to hold these turrets in place. But with an alla round armor rating of 1, you could get by just gluing the turrets in place.

Rating: 9/10.

Versatility: As mentioned above, this tank will serve you well when recreating Japanese forces all through the war, but the tank will be even more outclassed by Middle and Late war rivals. You  get five tank commanders in four different poses that will really help with platoon and vehicle variations.

Rating: 10/10

Paintability: These models were an absolute joy to paint. I pretty much followed the painting guide in Wargames Illustrated #310 with just one subtle difference. I’m very happy with the way they turned out. The only difference in my paint scheme was I painted the "yellow stripes" before I applied a wash (GW Delvin Mud). That helped tone down the stripes somewhat.

Rating: 10/10.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10.

Overall I’m very happy with these tanks and think they are some of my best tank models to date. The only problem is that now they have me thinking that I need to go ahead and make them part of a full force. I’m not sure I really need a new army right now but these excellent models are making the temptation very strong!

More eye candy......

All parts accounted for and cleanly molded!

Great selection of tank commanders and you HAVE to love the one with a sword!

Assembled and ready to go prime and paint.

Finished tank left side view.

Finished tank front view.
Rear view.
Right side view.
Top view.
I could not resist posing them by some actual Japanese WW2 hardware!

 Tom has been playing wargames since the late 70’s, and Flames of War since 2007. He maintains a gaming website for the BattleVault Gamers of Kentuckiana and posts and moderates as Iron-Tom on WWPD

Models provided by Battlefront Miniatures.

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